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  • SCU Provides Healthcare Support and Educational Opportunities for Veterans

SCU Provides Healthcare Support and Educational Opportunities for Veterans

 

Every year, America’s veterans are acknowledged and celebrated for their service on Veterans Day. Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) is committed to honoring the efforts of all veterans, including SCU students, faculty, and staff who have put on a uniform to serve our country. This includes supporting our veterans through healthcare and educational opportunities all year long.

As of 2022, there were 16.2 million military veterans in the U.S., representing 6.2% of the civilian population aged 18 and over. According to the National Center of Health Statistics, veterans are more likely to report having two or more chronic conditions than nonveterans, highlighting the need for comprehensive integrative, whole-person healthcare support.

Supporting veterans in healthcare education

Through programs such as the Veterans Affairs (VA) Yellow Ribbon Program and VA partner health centers in Greater Los Angeles, Palo Alto, and Phoenix, SCU provides educational opportunities to veterans in integrative, whole-person health, along with necessary healthcare support. 

SCU is involved with several government-sponsored programs and programs by the VA to help ensure veterans who want to receive a valuable education in a variety of disciplines of integrated healthcare. This includes the Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program), a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. This program allows institutions of higher learning in the U.S. to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the VA to fund tuition expenses that exceed the highest public in-state undergraduate tuition rate.

For students interested in the Yellow Ribbon Program and other financial aid opportunities available to veterans, SCU has dedicated financial aid counseling available. Student Services also offers dedicated advising and student support for veterans, and veteran support is available 24/7 through AllOne Health, SCU’s Student Assistance Program. In addition, an all-new Student Veteran Resource Center will open at SCU in Spring 2024 for veterans to study, hang out, build community, collaborate, meet with representatives from the VA, and access resources on local/national VA assistance programs.

Clinical Opportunities with the VA

Students at SCU start their clinical studies early, with opportunities to give back to veterans through rotations at VA hospitals and community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs). Lauren Artaserse, Term 10 Doctor of Chiropractic, completed her chiropractic rotation at the Placentia CBOC. CBOCs are VA-owned or VA-staffed healthcare sites established to extend the VA’s capacity to provide outpatient care to veterans who would otherwise need to travel long distances to receive care at VA facilities.

Lauren Artaserse, Term 10 Doctor of Chiropractic student at SCU

By completing rotations at VA hospitals and CBOCs, SCU students are able to experience the impact of integrative, whole-person health firsthand. Lauren says working with the VA is “a unique opportunity to collaborate with a diverse team of professionals, all dedicated to the well-being of our veterans.”

Robb Russell, DC, Assistant Vice President and Clinical Chief of Staff, SCU Health and Attending, VA Chiropractic Integrated Clinical Practice Residency, VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System, started working as the VA Residency Attending in 2014, when SCU was granted Academic Affiliate status for the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. This was the beginning of the Chiropractic Integrated Clinical Practice residency, a full-time, one-year, hospital-based postgraduate training program for DCs seeking innovative training and experiences relevant to careers in hospitals, integrated medical systems, and/or academia. 

“This residency was a great opportunity for integration and interdisciplinary education, and that’s something that’s really important at SCU,” Dr. Russell recalls. The largest integrative, whole-person healthcare system in the U.S., the VA offers chiropractic services as part of its standard healthcare package, which Dr. Russell notes is “important for the integration of chiropractic into the mainstream of healthcare.”

Integrative, whole-person healthcare for veterans, by veterans

From left to right: Kathy Goldberg, PT, MA, Jay Pyo, DO, Robb Russell, DC, Bart Green, DC, PhD, and Micah Blais, MD

At SCU Health, where Dr. Russell is also the Assistant Vice President and Clinical Chief of Staff, veterans can receive acupuncture and chiropractic treatments for just $25 per visit with a valid government ID. This special discounted rate is available all year long, enabling veterans access to expert, quality care at the SCU Health clinics in Whittier and Tustin, CA.

Michael T. Fanning, DC, DACBSP, CSC, Tactical Sports Medicine Lead Clinician at SCU Health, estimates that approximately 25% of the patients he sees are veterans. As a U.S. Air Force veteran, he feels his experience goes a long way to building rapport with his veteran patients. “You already break down some walls and build a relationship with these patients,” he says. “It goes a long way, being a veteran.”

Dr. Deepak Moosad

Deepak Moosad ’10, DC, VA Long Beach Healthcare System, is also an Air Force veteran. “Having served in the military, I can relate to the challenges and sacrifices that our veterans have made,” he notes. “This shared experience creates a sense of camaraderie and trust, allowing me to connect with patients on a deeper level.”

“Understanding their military background helps me comprehend the physical and emotional toll that their service may have had on their bodies,” Dr. Moosad says.

Veterans in the chiropractic field such as Dr. Fanning and Dr. Moosad have gone above and beyond to give back to their fellow veterans, and their time in the service provides additional insights and empathy to ensure other veterans receive the compassionate, integrative, whole-person healthcare they deserve.

On this Veterans Day, SCU thanks and honors all veterans for their service. To learn more about veteran support at SCU and clinical rotations and residencies at the VA, visit scuhs.edu/.

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